What I learnt from a year of experiments..

This time last year I was just starting my 6 month sabbatical. The purpose of the sabbatical was to practice selfcare, run a series of experiments to extend beyond my comfort zone and to live a life that embodied relationships, learning and fun.

It has been an amazing year in so many respects and many people have helped me along the journey.
I have been blessed to have the experiences that I have had. I have spent 14 days in Thailand practicing yoga and meditation 7 hours a day, ran a marathon at Mt Everest, lived and worked in Bali, launched my book, did improvisation comedy, undertook singing lessons, performed stand up comedy and embraced a relationship including the complexity of kids.

I have learnt so much about myself and grown in ways that I didn’t think was possible. I am such a believer that experimentation with a view to learning helps us to grow. The year highlighted that money and being busy is not what I seek. It’s now so much more about the relationships, self compassion and growth. I feel that I am kinder and more self aware person. At times I experienced significant anxiety but that anxiety was simply fuel for the learning that I was embarking on.

My key learnings

The importance of experimentation and growth. I am now a passionate believer that experimentation with a view to learning helps personal growth. Safe to fail experiments that don’t focus on the outcome but on learning has helped me better understand how growth and development happens. I am so excited about taking this learning and integrating into all parts of my life including my work.

The importance of vulnerability. This year, at times, have pushed me way outside of my comfort zone and I have been challenged by different experiences. For the first time in my life I was able to lean in and be vulnerable with different people. In the past I felt you needed to feel safe to feel vulnerable but I have learnt over the past 12 months that vulnerability creates safety. It’s a journey I want to continue in 2020.

The support of others. If you are going to experiment and step outside your comfort zone then find a way to be supported. In everything I have done this year I received great support and encouragement. Through my partner I have learnt how to experiment within a family unit that didn’t exist for me 12 months ago  and now find myself thoroughly enjoying the family time I have with her and the kids. I was supported through the significant challenge of running a marathon at Everest. The coaching I had in both my improvisation comedy and stand up comedy has given me the confidence to continue both in the future. The wonderful people I met in Bali when I worked there. In the launch of my book I felt so much goodwill and support. Putting myself out there for critical feedback was made much easier with the support of clients and friends.

Showing up. In everything I have done I could have taken the easy way out. I could have avoided or found something more comfortable for me. I wanted to stretch myself deliberately and the hardest part in any change is getting to the start line and opening yourself up to failure. Change is hard but showing up, moving forward, making progress and taking small steps is what growth is about. Embodying a growth mindset has helped me enormously.

So how has the past 12 months helped me professionally. I am a better coach with greater empathy for my clients, I am more likely to take risks (I am running a public program on Leadership Agility in 2020) and I feel more comfortable on social media than I used to. I am also loving the work I do with my clients. In 2018 I was tired and found much of my work unenjoyable. I now have found enjoyment in everything I do.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my experience and I will continue these experiments in 2020!

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